By Carol McIntire
Carroll County Sheriff Dale Williams and Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Tom Cottis are encouraging county residents to sign up for emergency alerts. “It’s free and simple,” said Cottis. “It provides residents with information on all types of emergencies,” added Williams. The system, they said is basically an emergency call back, text or email system that provides a variety of alerts ranging from impending storms, downed trees or power lines, accidents, flood, weather emergencies, fires and accidents. The county utilized the system to notify residents in areas recently when they were searching for a suspected killer in the county. “There is absolutely no cost to sign up so there is no reason why every resident in the county shouldn’t sign up,” said Cottis. “The only charge there could possibly be is if a cell phone company charges customers to receive text messages.” The system covers both landline and cell phones. To receive emergency text messages, cell phone users should text the word “Carroll” to 69310. To sign up for email alerts and messages for landline phones, residents should visit www.carrollcountyohio.us and find the link on the left side of the page that says Sheriff. Hold the curser down until the words CCSO alerts appears and click on it. Residents should then click on the Sign up for CCSO Alerts link and enter the requested information. The page also includes answers to frequently asked questions and information on how to stop receiving alerts. Residents can also call 330-627-0003 extension 223 and they will be signed up by county personnel. “Landline phone numbers are already loaded into the system and are updated on a monthly basis,” explained Williams. “We need people with cell phones to register because that is the only way we have to alert them in case of an emergency. If there is an oil well fire or gas explosion, residents will have the information they need to avoid the area or if there is an accident and a road is closed, residents with text and email alerts will know and can plan to take another route so they are not delayed.” “The county fair is next week and we traditionally have severe weather during the week,” said Cottis. “If residents register their cell phone numbers we have the ability to alert them if they need to take cover or leave the fairgrounds. Information would be available at their fingertips.” “Right now, we only have a small number of cell phone numbers registered. We would like to see that number increase so we can better serve the people of Carroll County,” said Williams.